An exciting middleweight bout between Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz and Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove is scheduled to kickoff the pay-per-view portion this Saturday’s “UFC 112: Invincible” event.
Grove’s career has been quite the roller coaster after taking “The Ultimate Fighter 3” tournament back in June 2006. After impressively taking his first three Octagon scraps, he dropped his next pair in devastating knockout fashion, only to follow that up with a couple of wins.
He’s .500 over his last two contests, but was last seen wrapping his lanky legs around Jake Rosholt’s neck at UFC 106 to earn a triangle choke submission victory. The W bumped his record to 11-6, however what’s most impressive is that he’s finished in nine of his 11 wins.
Munoz will be riding an impressive three-fight winning streak into the Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi. The Reign fighter stakes claim to a dominant 7-1 pro mark, with his only blemish coming in his Octagon debut against Matt Hamill at UFC 96 in March 2009.
Grove’s length allows him to throw strikes from many angles that other fighters can’t. He’s got a vicious muay thai game that Munoz will need to avoid, however it would be tough to imagine the two-time All-American not slamming Grove to the mat the instant they clinch.
“I brought in a lot of tall, long fighters to help me prepare for this fight,” Munoz told 5thRound.com in an exclusive interview. “His length, well everything about Kendall worries me so I need to be on alert, but especially his length.
“I can’t let him clinch with me against the cage because his elbows are deadly. I’m confident that I will be able to take him down and unleash some ground ‘n pound. He’s a very tough opponent and I can’t wait to test myself against a great fighter.”
This isn’t necessarily the classic striker vs. grappler matchup, but it’s pretty close. If Grove can control the center of the Octagon and keep the fight standing, it could be long night for Munoz. However, most believe the Filipino’s world-class wrestling will prove to be the difference in this one.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for our preview of the lightweight battle between Rafael dos Anjos and Terry Etim.